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Talk Around Town
Males Cutting Hair Short For Fear of Anti-Gay Killings, Al-Dabbagh To Be Fired?
04/14/2009 8:06 PM ET
Photo: Daniel W. Smith

Hair Length/Anti-Gay Killings
Recent killings of men and boys thought to be gay in Baghdad, mostly in Sadr City, have raised fear of among homosexuals, as well as others who do not want to be mistaken for them. Different numbers have been reported by different news agencies, but as many as twenty bodies have been found in past weeks, some with notes which have the Arabic word for “puppy” a local pejorative term for homosexuals.

Many males who have let their hair grow longer since the militia-strong years of 2006 and 2007 when long hair, facial hair, or dress could singe anyone out for violence, are cutting their hair short again. Iraqslogger spoke to a male in his thirties who was warning his younger brother, who lives near Sadr City, to have his hair clipped back to its previous short style.

In recent weeks, clerics in and around Sadr City (though not restricted to this area) have focused on the immorality of homosexuality, and the need for families to reign their young men in. Some of the killings are thought to be analogous to "honor" killings, where a family member might kill a female who is seen to have damaged the family's honor. The issue been covered in the Iraqi press, but not prominently. Al-Sharqiya, for example, though usually not afraid of controversy, recently had a story about it on their web-site, but did not air the same story on the station.

Changes in Government Positions Rumored
A shake-up in high-level government positions is being rumored around political circles. The most visible object of the rumor is government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh. The rumors were made public enough that he appeared on television to deny any possibility that his job was in jeopardy. Still, with new officials taking positions every day in the wake of the provincial elections, and with national elections coming up, there is much talk.


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